A small shareholder group says Wal-Mart’s longtime auditor, Ernst & Young, knew about possible bribery in Mexico long before the company disclosed it to U.S. authorities, highlighting a little-plumbed area of U.S. anticorruption law.
CtW Investment Group, which works with union pension funds that hold about 0.15% of Wal-Mart Stores Inc. stock, made the claim in a letter last Thursday to the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, which oversees public companies’ outside accounting firms.
The letter cites an internal Wal-Mart email dated Feb. 27, 2006, that says employees in Wal-Mart’sBentonville, Ark., headquarters “briefed Ernst & Young over the past several months,” along with some of the company’s directors, on an internal investigation into the possible bribery. It wasn’t until late 2011 that Wal-Mart disclosed its investigation to the Justice Department and Securities and Exchange Commission, according to the company’s securities filings.
The original article can be found at www.nasdaq.com